BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

Best diaper rash cream

Which diaper rash cream is best?

Nobody wants to see their baby in discomfort, and diaper rash is one of the most common ailments for babies. When your bundle of joy is crying from an uncomfortable rash, you want to make sure you have the best possible remedy. Diaper rash cream is created to soothe and cure the rash, no matter the cause.

Our top pick, Desitin’s Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream, is a trusted product from a well-respected brand. It’ll have your little one feeling better in no time.

What to know before you buy a diaper rash cream

Causes of diaper rash

Diaper rash is a skin irritation in babies that can be caused by a number of things. Some babies are allergic to baby powder or certain foods. Others get the rash from dirty diapers or chafing. Still others might be susceptible to such rashes due to bacterial infections or even exposure to antibiotics. Whatever the cause, diaper rash can ruin your baby’s mood and make them very unhappy and uncomfortable.


Diaper rash creams create a protective barrier between the skin and other irritants. While each formula is different, most diaper rash creams use zinc oxide or petrolatum to protect baby’s skin. The concentration of zinc oxide in most diaper rash creams ranges from 10% to 40%. The highest quality creams usually include additional protectants such as aloe vera, beeswax or shea butter. Those that have a higher water content offer babies a cooling effect that soothes the irritation as well.

Other ingredients to help soothe severe diaper rash include calendula, coconut oil, vitamin B5 and vitamin E. Most of these ingredients help babies with sensitive skin to avoid further irritation.

Types of diaper rash remedies

Creams are relatively thin and are thereby easier to spread than other options. They have a higher ratio of water to oil, which makes them soothing, though they may not last as long as thicker alternatives.

Ointments have a higher oil content than creams. They are thicker than creams because of their high oil content, making them longer lasting.

Pastes are the thickest of all diaper rash remedies. They are virtually impenetrable and can go far to protect severely damaged skin. However, some pastes are only available via a doctor’s prescription.

Prevention vs. cure

Lighter creams are good at preventing diaper rash under certain conditions. If your baby suffers from diarrhea or infrequent diaper changes, you might want to use a thicker paste. Ointments or pastes are the most effective at curing a diaper rash that’s already present because they stay on your baby’s skin for a longer time than thinner creams.

How much you can expect to spend on a diaper rash cream

Most diaper rash creams cost $4-$20. Lower-cost diaper rash creams are small tubes (around 4 ounces) that include the most basic ingredients. For $10, you can get an all-natural organic cream. A $20 container of diaper rash cream is usually a larger container that includes extra ingredients.

Diaper rash cream FAQ

What should you do if diaper rash cream doesn’t work on your baby?

A. If diaper rash cream does not seem to be working, your baby may have a more serious condition. A fungal infection can be difficult to cure and may require a visit to the doctor.

How often do you need to put diaper rash cream on your baby?

A. Daily application of diaper rash cream helps keep your baby’s skin clear and comfortable. If you notice your baby has more irritation due to the cream itself, stop using it immediately and consult a pediatrician.

What's the best diaper rash cream to buy?

Top diaper rash cream

Desitin’s Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream

What you need to know: You can’t really go wrong with the standard-bearer of diaper rash cream.

What you'll love: Fragrance-free zinc oxide formula soothes discomfort quickly.

What you should consider: Some users found the cream to be “dried out.”

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top diaper rash cream for the money

A+D Original’s Diaper Rash Ointment

What you need to know: Although it has an unusual scent, it’s a dependable product at a good price.

What you'll love: It is a large quantity and contains vitamins A and D.

What you should consider: The strong smell is unpleasant to some users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Burt’s Bees Baby’s 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment

What you need to know: This all-natural product costs more but gives you an organic remedy.

What you'll love: It is good for babies with sensitive skin and has a nice scent. It is not animal tested.

What you should consider: It's pricey for a small container of ointment.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Adam Reeder writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: